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Robbery Possible Motive Behind Massacre of Russian Family

Robbery may be the motive behind the killing of a policeman and his family in the southern Russian town of Syzran, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday, citing an Interior Ministry official.

“My personal version of the murder is [killing] for selfish purposes,” Andrei Konovalov, deputy head of the ministry's central directorate in the Samara region was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

He didn't specify if any possessions were missing from the house of the murdered policeman.

A number of the policeman's colleagues believe that the murder may have been connected with his work, the Ren-TV television channel reported. According to them, the murdered policeman, Andrei Gosht, was actively fighting against organized crime.

On Sunday, the bodies of Gosht and five members of his family were found dead in a house in the village of Ivashovka. The deaths were caused by blunt trauma to the head, according to the investigation. The only survivor — a 7 year-old girl — was taken to the hospital in a coma.

The violent crime resembles a similar massacre of a policeman's family in the Krasnodar region village of Kushchevskaya in November 2010. Twelve people, including four children were killed by a local criminal gang.

The Interior Ministry has offered a reward of 3 million rubles ($45,000) for any information about the Syzran killing.

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